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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  September 15, 2012 8:00am-9:00am EDT

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i believe falls to us in the research community and in the meteor and the public to force the candidates to answer those questions, test those assumptions and knock down the myths they are using. thank you for being part of this process today. [applause] ..
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yes, it's possible to change the country. this is a reversible. that's got to be changed. and this was sent and that is the legacy are met a shift that is very promising for it now and for the future. >> former republican oklahoma congressman, mickey edwards argued is clean too much power. the parties have disenfranchised voters to the legislative process by providing partisanship and encouraging debate. this is a little under an hour. [applause]
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>> you know, this is going to be very hard the case after i left congress i became a teacher and i taught at harvard for living your site out of print and in the city who are teachers know you don't stand still. how do i do this? i'm going to obey the rules and do it from here. i walk around the block through the aisle if you have. if you were lied to congress would be a wide i/o. but i have to do it this way. thank you very much for coming. i appreciate the chance to talk about my book and buy a ds, what led me to write this and it's something that's been in my mind for a very long time. i'm going to kind of skipped quickly a comeback. i'll quickly say to you as were attacking your about how depressing it is and is there any way out? i want to tell you there's a way
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out. there are ways to change the system. we can meet the government work, but it's going to take very, very fundamental changes. it's going to take grassroots changes that will take the political system and turned upside down. so let me give you some examples of what i mean. by the way, who's going to do that? you're going to do it. when people demand change, change will happen in. if you don't change come if we don't demand change of old. so let me give you a couple examples of what began to dawn on me years ago. when i was in congress, i had the habit of having a lot of time meeting, neighborhood meetings commemorating swiss constituents like this and i might have half a dozen people here. i might have 200 people here and you'd engage about the issues in front of congress in which you are thinking.
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and actually in the book, and the acknowledgments i didn't dedicate to this person, but i could have. i don't remember his name. i do remember what it was about. if somebody stood up for one of my town meetings. he wants to know, why did you not to ask? somebody is always wanting to know, why did you not to ask? ave. n-november what excellence. i do what politicians do. i said i tried, i introduced a bill, but the other party controlled congress. the other party decided whether or not you could get those brought forward to the floor. they decided whether you could have a hearing. so the other party did it and somebody stood up in a room and said, i am so sick and tired of hearing democrat base,
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republican that and everybody in the room stood up and cheered and i never did it again. later when i went out since already teaching -- it's not that she got potomac fever in washington are charles river, but that should have time to reflect, to say how did this happen? what is not working? here's what i saw develop team in congress. it doesn't matter what the issue service. it doesn't matter what the issue is, whether it's a tax bill, spending bill from the supreme court nomination, whatever it is there's going to be a vote and every democrat will be a one-sided and every other republican would be another side. it's like we have two separate congresses. not the united states congress, but to the republican congress
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and at congress fighting to take advantage of credit and when the next election. while that didn't happen by accident. and i believe in the free enterprise system and incentives. incentives work and we have created a political system in which every incentive is to not cooperate, to not compromise, to not talk to somebody who has different ideas than your own. you know, that's great. it's great to just be pure in your principle, but we are a nation of 310 million we have all different backgrounds and with all different life experiences. and we have different ideas that we feel strongly about. the way a democracy this site has to work is that no matter how deeply you feel about one issue or another, you have to
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sit down and somebody who has a different idea and side with the overlap is. you'll get a little. and the program, constitutional programs that government is responsible for and make it happen. by the way, just so you don't think i'm making all this stuff about how bad the political party system is, the first four presidents of the united states, those of you study history sometimes didn't even like each other that much. but they all agree on one thing. what did washington, jefferson and madison alegria? do not create political parties. they wrote about it, spoke about it. they said do not create political parties.
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some of you are historians with political scientist and a broom. someone will say they had local parties and. nothing like the parties that we have now. they have political parties for they came together on three or four or five issues and that was it. i might agree with you one day in opposing the next day. that's the way it was. not anymore. when george w. bush was president, the american -- and the president was issuing presidential findings, which i did not have to obey the law, but you're free to interpret it any way you want. what happened was there as a legitimate come a strong being made by the president's supporters that they had to use signing statements to distance themselves from legislation.
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they are also very strong arguments by people like me saying that's unconstitutional. see the american bar association appointed a task force to look into these statements. i was a member of that task force and the president of the aba and i testified before a house committee. and guess what, even though a good case was being made by a lot of very good lawyers that the president was within his rights to issue the signing statements and say i don't follow this provision of the law appeared now one for any merit whatsoever. even though i thought and a lot of people thought what the president was doing really unconstitutional. i don't have to obey the laws they just sign. so on issue after issue, foreign policy and anything else can be divided to these rivalries.
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how does that happen? first of all, nothing in the constitution and nothing that creates political primaries and nothing in the constitution allows political parties, bosses and legislatures to draw congressional district lines. let me talk about a couple of those same spirit and because by identifying what the problem is, you can see what the solution is. so let me very quickly just talk about the primary system. a lot of you in this room, there's a lot of you would know something about everyone in this room. you all believe when you go to the store, when you buy a cell phone, when you buy a vote, you want choice. that's what we are. we want a choice in things that we get, and things that we
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watch, we want choices. the only place where we have devised a system to stifle choice is then select the people who'll decide whether we go to war, what our taxes are going to be, what problems will create because under the bush of the parties, i'll get to that, but because of the push of the parties, almost every single state in the united states has what they call a sore loser laws. a sore loser of law is if you run in your party's primary and you lose, you cannot be on the ballot in november. you are prevented from being on it. so what happens? i give you a couple examples very briefly. some of you will be thinking about what happened to kluger in
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indiana, but a couple years ago, just to show you the numbers, and delaware were there's a million people, they had primary. i don't care whether he would've been for my castle or chris kerns for democrat or christine o'donnell. that doesn't matter to me. what matters is the seat of a million people, christine o'donnell cut 30,000 posts. i'm not good in math, but seems like a small percentage. 30,000 out of the million and because she did that, my castle who should be who have been the governor, a longtime congressman and would've been the overt bombing choice of the people is to be their next senator was not even allowed to be on the ballot. and you talk on the 3 million people, 3500 to the convention and because they chose not to be nominate senator robert and it, he could not be on the ballot in
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november. so this is true and 46 at the 50 states. so the creep will of the voters when they go to the polls to choose who they want to congress have their choice. why in the world do we be as thought these private clubs to tell us that you can only vote arb? by do we allow them to say that you are not going to be allowed to even consider the person that she might have chosen to be your senator. that's what we've known that the primary system created by law, by the parties, not a result of anything in the constitution. let me give you another example that. redistricting, gerrymandering. there's a provision provision in the constitution that says that every single representative and senator must be an inhabitant of
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the state from which they are elected. the idea is very simple. if you are my constituents, i'm supposed to know you, know your interest, know your concerns so i can articulate them. you're supposed to know me and my reputation in the community. what happens in the parties control with the district lines looks like an draw the lines for party advantage. all you view an example and this is very embarrassing for me to admit. i am a complete city did good to me, groceries come from the grocery store. whoever heard of a farm. i've represented oklahoma city, a big city. i was the first republican elected in the district since 1928 and drove the other party crazy. their teacher from oklahoma to the kansas line halfway across arkansas, a big upside down al qaeda way. democrats did that to make republicans to justice while.
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but here's what happened. i said look what they did to me. they didn't do it to me at all, did they? and about the provision in the constitution. you're supposed to know them and their system a year. as the city did representing wheat farmers and cattle ranchers and falls down merchants and i could not articulate well enough what was of importance to them. and by the way, the adjoining district, a world i was representing a part of the city because it worked for party advantage. so we allow that to happen. there's a way to get around that, too. there's other kinds of things we can get into about money. a story in "the new york times" is completely wrong, that was about the fact the super packs an office staff stuff for parties out of the way.
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and they were now doing the funding of parties not relevant. nonsense. did you ever looked to see his run in the packs? is for party leaders. i'm the democrat and republican side is just another tool that the parties are able to use. let me skip over that. let me go to what happens when you are in congress. a former congressman here who's lived through it, just as i have. so here's the deal. there is a coup by a moment. you weigh in and you sworn in and you're standing there in my particular class. there i am with al gore, a part apart, dan quayle altogether, all equal, all members of the united states congress last for about 30 seconds. as soon as you're done, what happens is you vote on who will be speaker of what will be the party rolls and what committees
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will have how many of his party in that party along party lines and you go to a committee meeting and it's like there's a republican armed services committee, the democrat armed services committee. another embarrassing moment. how many of you have actually been to the house floor or observed the house for? so i am speaking to you. some of you are over here, some over here and here is a lecturer in. i can barely say a word, but there's a lectern. one black turn for me. the first time i spoke -- i'm so full of myself and politicians, so i thought i'm going to be so persuasive thoughts out to the democrats. i'm going to look right at them and they are going to hear me and so i went and sat at the
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lectern in front of the democrat. and there was this gas. it's kind of like to get cooties if he touched the wall country rock lectern. if you look at the house, which if god is to speak a separate lecturers can a separate computers to look stuff up. and if i wanted to go get a cup of soup or read a newspaper or make a phone call, the things you do in the coat room that republicans go to one room and democrats go to another. you can even of soup together. we have created that system. now, there are ways to fix this. but we've created is a system where people don't know each other as friends, colleagues, allies. if you're the wrong party, my job is to the e.u., cooperate with you because if i cooperate with you and/or closed party primaries were over the did this
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for by cooperating and compromising, i am going to lose my seat. because that's the incentive system. when you love the primary parties to decide who's on the ballot, which you have done is get the activists in the most hyper partisan and seles at hyper ideological the ability to keep you off the ballot a few stray and are not pure enough. and this is happening in both parties as well. okay, how do you get past all this? let me wrap it up is trying to say it's awful, right? do we have to live with that? no we don't have to live with it. 40% of americans today declared themselves independent. people wondered, how did scott brown brenden democratic massachusetts? i lived there, taught there. no such thing as democratic
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massachusetts. there's more independent voters in massachusetts than democrat or republican. over 40% of voters -- "usa today" put it this way. the people are fleeing from political parties. they don't want to be tied to this political party or be in a situation where you have a congress pursuant to be in the committee, so i don't know you, but let me assume you're a whiz at math and you know finance and economics and want to be on the ways and means committee, everything fits. i would say if you're one of the party leaders coming in now, i'm willing to pitch in the ways and means committee. you can make a class, but you have to promise before we give you that committee position that you're going to stick with the party line, that you haven't even heard a hearing at. you haven't seen the bills yet, but just a promise to stick to the party. that's the way it works.
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so here are some of my recommendations, proposals. in 2006, the people of washington state have had it. and they went to the polls because 24 states had petitions for the voters themselves could get signatures and change the laws that are wrong and the people in washington said were going to do away with closed party primaries. we are going to say if you're a qualified candidatecome over every state what it is to qualify, if you're qualified candidate will be on the ballot with your democratic and republican or five republicans, whatever it is, all of you are qualified will be anyone ballot in every single registered voter is going to get to vote among all those people. and then if you have a runoff between -- if somebody gets over
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50%, you have a runoff. what comes out of that? look at the case of sherman and permanent california. two liberal democrats. this is a district a liberal democrat was going to plan. they ended up as the top two. it's not a surprise. but what's happening? no longer can either of them get elected in the general by just appealing to people who share their ideology. they have to appeal to all of the voters in that district. republican, democrat, liberal, conservative, centrist, they have to be a representative of the people of that district, not a small subset of that district. so california did that in 2010. they did away with closed party primaries and other states can do that as well. i think every state needs to do that and take away from these private clubs. that's all they are.
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the private clubs. take away their power to keep you off the ballot and keep you as a voter from having the full range of choices available. okay, redistricting. 13 states now. california today, washington did it, said to heck with their spirits were not going to let party leaders draw congressional districts to seat down. what they're going to do is create non-artists and independent redistricting commission's. 13 states authority to not now. guess what happens? in california, when the power to draw district lines was taken away from the parties and you had to run any district that encompassed people from both parties in this election and this time, 12 members of the california delegation, one
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fourth of the california delegation retired rather than run and a fair, open election that everybody had a shot at. so that's when you need to be changed to districting, change the primary system and then leap over and come back to all the other things you want to talk about. but the internal workings of congress. in this book either chapter called rearranging the furniture. it's kind of interesting. imagine for a moment to you and your beloved other were not getting along. you are having sized, as were tough. so you went to a shrink and the shrink says, i'll sell you what, let's set this up so you have two separate couches facing away from each other. you each have your tv set and the way we deal with this is you don't talk to each other. you know, what you need to do is rearrange the congress
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internally to break that down. we went from a highly partisan republican speakers to a highly partisan democratic speaker to a highly partisan republican speaker because don't blame them. speakers at the house believe it's their job to be their party leader. and great britain i don't think it's a job to be the party leader. a must to get those from another party. in canada, the speaker is not partisan. and this may shock a few of you that the speaker of the house does not even need to be a member of congress? you don't have to pick one of your party seems to be the leader. leaving you in the congress towards a political war.
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you can have a congress that works together and says let's consider all the good legislation and have it out and have serious debates together so we think as americans, not as republicans or democrats, but all us americans. john and i were on appropriations together. we have republican staff, democratic staff. people say there's facts. why are their partisan staffs? the job of the congressman is to get information, get data, be able to call witnesses. why do you party since shaping? why do you have party leaders to go along with the party line? why do you we allow that to happen? the first part is the easy part. you can change the laws about primaries. you can change the laws about
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redistricting. in order to change the internal workings, the rules of congress, who can be speaker? whether or not you partisan or nonpartisan staff, the only way to do it is to do what you all are doing tonight coming to pass. when your congressman, senator, state legislator shows up at eight situate needing, be there and demand that they change. so many members of congress, "usa today" did an article about the numbers of congress who vote with their party 95% of the time. if you go with your party 95% of the time coming up with numerous constituents and you're not voting with your brain. your voting with your party. it's up to us to make that change. i think the revolution has already begun. people flee from the parties. people are sick and tired of it and that's why this book is
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called. i have to back off a little bit. i love the title. i came up with parties versus to people because they think that's exactly what's happening. a war by parties against a people for for their own advantage. the part that i really love it how to return republicans and democrats into americans, i had an article in the atlantic that preceded this book. i was a year ago when the editors of the atlantic came up with that. so anyway, i'll stop there and take questions, whatever. [applause] >> thank you, mickey. this is a great presentation, a great start. but the way some of your ideas on how to make things work beyond the redistricting.
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in the primaries. the one thing i've learned in time has been the political news in this country, often good and bad, often travels west to east. so the stars that have been made in washington and california augur well. it places such as colorado and iowa have these redistricting commission's and it has created some competition in elections. so why don't we began? if you're comfortable, please say your name as well. >> okay, i have a town meeting. >> dr. caroline coughlan comment a physician and democrat. and i think some of the things you're suggesting would help, but i don't thing is the same when scientists on the other. when i was in the federal government, ronald reagan was president and reagan said government is not the solution.
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government is the problem. he thought it was funny to say i'm from government and i'm here to help you. i was a good laugh line under republican meeting. i think the democrats, despite what is going on, have stretched out their hand. barack obama agreed that there would be no taxes in the new budget, just spending time spirit and the house republicans would mix up. so i don't think it's the same on both sides and i think things are suggesting would help anyone to suggest the mouse of an oklahoma. >> i do suggest an oklahoma, everywhere, all over the country. i think people will have different ideas about which party is worse or where it came from, i mean, you mentioned obama's outreach and i think he
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did with double what he did. nancy pelosi said no, we won the election. will write the bills. there are some people on the republican side this a totally outrageous nasty things, but they have a hard time competing with harry reid in that regard. but we have to do is break it down where people like that can sit together and say what's good for the country, not how do i score political points for my party? and i agree, we do. today say something to your ploy about government? in one of the ways the ideologues have it divided up. a lot of people think this is a pretty good country and that not a sin, et cetera created 30 good government. one of the problems i've noticed, you know, everything besides that. so the government created both empowerment and constrained and to some extent the left doesn't
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see the constrained and the right doesn't see the empowerment. you know, there are limits to what government can do, but it can do some things. we created a national government. so i agree with you. i think we need to get past that. government is a problem in some areas. government is the solution in some areas. you need to get past that. >> thank you. >> and steve hamlin, chair of the constitution project. you have two ideas in here, which i want you to talk about if he will because they both appear to me to be unconstitutional. [laughter] the first is that you say we should allow campaign contributions only from a candidate's perspective constituents. nobody else. >> i didn't quite say that, but go ahead.
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i mean, you just now got the book. >> actually gave me a copy of this chapter before hand. and many say would be well served by a law mandating for purposes of campaign contributions the term persons refers to actual, individual living human need, no corporate money, no union money, no money from political action committees or political parties. political campaigns should be cared for by people only people. so how do you overcome in both of those ideas quick >> first of all, i think you agree they are not in your. we do have to say that he's the chairman of the board of the constitution project and i'm on the board. but steve, i had an exchange with the former head of the election commission and i laid
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that out and i think you could have law that says that only human beings can go. and i think you could frame it that only a living human beings can cast about -- i mean, can contribute, which the court says is equivalent to voting. i do not think that there should be campaign contributions as you said from corporations. the idea that a corporation is a person is, what a bad idea. [applause] i will tell you any supreme court justices said that they know, mock, but they don't know corporate law because corporations by definition have powers to an individual would not have. but i don't want corporate money coming union money, pac money come is super pac money. ottawa political party money. i want a system that is
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transparent, a hint and only individuals contribute. and i think we can do constitutionally. [applause] >> cominco onto the next question. >> am i speaking too loudly quick >> no, that's not an issue. i want to comment because this is the stimulating debate we're having. some years ago when i was head of common cause and we promote a matching system of campaign contributions, tom foley, the speaker for a while and then not partisan speaker by any definition of the word, we came up with an idea that when you have matching contributions and a person were to take matching contributions, you could condition that a substantial portion of the contribution should come from within the state that the candidate resides in.
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so that was an effort at trying to balance the thrust of what mickey edwards is saying and is a way of perhaps handling the constitutional infirmity question and is a thing to think about as we try and fix our campaign finance system and move away from corporations being people. thanks for the indulgence. >> albeit they do you know going into. i used to consult for freeman cary. my two patients who were my best patients to assess to what justice brennan and justice powell. his inexperience to go down to the congress to see people periodically. the ugliness of what is going on is the racism that has gotten out of control. yesterday's example of bite and carrying on about unchanging. the only difference between unchanging and unshackling is at least people from princeton can
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spell shackle. but the real base for barack obama's minority america. the weaknesses he can't deliver. i have a theme and that is lots of people have asked about mitt romney's background, what he did as a kid shop enough hair. well, michelle obama was a director at the university of chicago medical center and is a much loved about what she accomplished in taking care of the with limited resources, limited incomes and that's extremely important especially since health care is a huge issue at the present time. >> well said. >> hi, charles smith. let me try and frame my question. i mean, you're proposing a number of structural changes, which i would hope would make a difference. assuming for a second date date, the question i have is in a democracy, essentially the median voter makes the
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difference. so changing any of these laws in terms of voting, primaries, regardless, ultimately is changing the median voter. there's a lot of evidence he cited with your oil at the condition of a lot of social sciences we essentially live in two different universes. so would strike me that to change anything really fundamentally means we had to change attitudes. that is my setup. my question is that one issue that i see as fox news, which is essentially 24/7 propaganda machine. i was curious about your views in terms of what is the influence of fox news on the attitudes and the dialogue in this country and how is that an asset or barrier to change? >> that's a good question. i will broaden it a little bit
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by saying fox and msn d.c., neither one does a lot of good for the country. most people in there probably are anti-violence, right-click so i hesitate to say this, but i thought we could actually solve a lot of our nation's problem if we took rush limbaugh and keith olbermann and put them in the same bag and dropped them off the bridge. so i do date various problems on both sides. but if i can expand a little bit. that's a good question and one of the worst things you can do if you have just authored a book and you want people to buy the book is decoded the bookstore and suggest other books they've got to buy. and i know one of them i'm sure is still here, but john hiatt's book, the righteous mind about people learning to understand where other people are coming from is a terrific book and a
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book that came out when my last book just came out for your sick of by bill bishop from texas who wrote a book called the big sort, which identified the fact that americans today in large numbers. not everybody, obviously, only talk to people who think the way they do. the handout with people who have the same problems and tv shows. so the question you can luck, but your point about attitude, you're right. it's not just the people who get elected. if ice. we have to learn to be one country. we have to learn to respect each other, even if somebody sues are different from my own. when i was in congress has been the minority and i frequently lost, but i still had good friends on the other side who voted differently than i did. they saw it differently than i
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did. so you're right. i think your point about attitude is very, very good. >> hi. although i agree with what you said, there is a problem, not with what you're saying, but we have to be cautious that we don't just rearrange the deck chairs on the titanic. many of our problems, both national and international have layer upon layer upon layer of causes. one brief example. we made beyond the point where geographic representation is the only representation. it may not be sufficient to have all of our representation geographically based.
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okay. so what i want to know is where are we going to really get a dialog of the people? national and international to start to pick apart what is happening to others, what our goals are, both near-term and long-term and how we're going to overcome the great forces against us, the corporations and in many cases the government itself. the company tends to people as to fight the government to get what it is they want. so i don't know how we're going to get there and i don't know whether he'll have the say. but how would we do this, we're appealing to the very same organizations and systems holding us down. do we expect them to reform sufficient? >> that's a very good question. first of all, i agree with the basic premise of which are sane.
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this is a much broader question in my book doesn't really deal with of it. but we've got a lot of other problems. for example, when you talk about decided about during keith olbermann and rush limbaugh overboard, well, the stations on which they appear are owned by people in the networks on which they appear on by people who are raking in big bucks, you know, while poisoning the well. our public school systems do not teach critical thinking. they don't teach civics. i mean, we have big changes we have to make as a society. maybe that's another book. i vardy actually started on that. but i didn't get there, but you're absolutely right. to your final point, that's why i made the argument that at some point it's up to all of you when
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your congressman shows up for state legislator, you have to be very and you have to demand they change their behavior. you're exactly right, they're not going to change down the road. people are afraid. i'll tell you one. i hope he doesn't mind me quoting him. he just lost his election yesterday. cliff stearns, although you can't tell us by looking, i spent time in the house gin and tonic a lot of the members of a lot of them are frustrated by the pressure not to co-opt away, not to be collegial and some of them lose their careers. close losses yesterday. so we have got to create support. we've got to change the incentive system and support those people who are willing to say we are one country, let's find a way to work together. >> thank you for coming tonight.
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though tucker. i worked in the white house office during the reagan administration and there's a lot of merit and virtue had to say of course, but i don't know how you change the system. you know, anyone can create a party. ross perot had his party, but he didn't have enough interest in him to get elected. and so, first you have to have someone that's going to create enough interest to rival the democrat and republican party. and i don't see that happening. that's cannot take a lot of money, a lot of organization and that individual that can rally people around him because the independents -- independents -- i mean can you talk about the independents actually having more people than republicans and democrats, which is true. but they're split and a hundred different ways also.
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so there is no movement except the two parties in our country that can cause enough people to coalesce around them to have an effect and elect a candidate. >> i am not trying to supplant the two parties we have another one. i mean come in the two parties we have our bad enough. who needs more? so what i am in favor of is taken away from those parties. i'm just trying to put democracy back in and allow the peep of that has the full range of choices about who they want. so why don't care whether it's a republican incumbent democrat, reform party, i don't care. but the people choose which one will best represent them. i'm not trying to get rid of the parties. i'm trying to take away their control over the system. >> one other comment i was at a
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dinner with improv ones after apollo was selected and his brother happened to be sitting at the table and then sign him that his brother needed to form a party. he said he won't do that because he wants to be for any party for democracy, which is much advocating anything. >> i had the good fortune of meeting and that was a very good statement by him, absolutely. >> hi, i'm kerry tumor and unlike a lot of people, this is the first election in election of alleged voting. the >> congratulations. >> a lot of people my age group don't have the education or desire to spend all their time watching cnn or reading of the multiple newspapers there are to get the information about the election. so what they get their information from is the mudslinging commercials that are out now by super pacs.
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and even politicians like a bomb last night he said this is in the mudslinging campaign, even though we can't change the supertramp 10, akamai change from mudslinging to actual information about politicians will do if they are elected versus just killing other people's campaigns? >> you know, it's funny -- [applause] reform is hard because one way we try to stop that, the nastiness by requiring candidates to appear themselves and say i am at and i approve this message. now they go on and approved the message that is mudslinging. so that doesn't help. you know, first of all, i am sorry that young people don't want to read more sources and get more information, but a
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friend of mine who tout at m.i.t. now at harvard wrote a book about negative campaigning maybe 10 years ago, 12 years ago in his conclusion, sadly for him and for most of us instead of works. i don't know an answer, but i will say that i share your feeling. this particular campaign has been very light unserious vision. you know, it has been mostly each when talking about how terrible the other one is and that's not just presidential. it's congressional and everything else. i think the american people would trust us. were smart. talk to is seriously about where you want to go, which you want to do. i don't have to change that except if you find someone you too negative, just society will vote for them.
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if you find that doesn't work, maybe they'll change because political consultants want to win elections. if they find out the strategies don't work, maybe they'll change. >> this will be our last question. >> yeah, you've stressed the great political divide between the different parties. but what about these corporations that play both sides, by lavishing huge contribution and members of both parties, get special favors. the fda destroyed the food system that these genetically modified products that crept into the country without any batting was that are releasing these drugs that are crushable, clamping down on whistleblowers of the fda and other agencies and the revolving door between former politicians who take positions that corporations and vice versa. many people switch back and
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forth three or more times. what kind of chance to be stand when we have this fundamental foundation? >> you know, i think we have to change what we reward them what we don't reward. some people is said to me that i'm very candid and very blunt and that is because i'm not in congress anymore. john will tell you that's the way i was noticing congress. so here's an example about how you change the reward system. you talk about people on both sides. so when i was running, there is a banker in oklahoma, which is not in my district, who contributed to my campaign. and i was very happy. i hope i'll commie page of my campaign great. turns out because it's publicly reported a later bed in the paper he'd also get into my opponents campaign. and so i asked him about it. and he said well, i'm really for
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you, but i want you to make sure that whoever won i would be remembered. and they said i want and you are remembered. so that's basically what you have to do. you have to basically tell people that if they play the game, they're going to the users toward. >> this will be the last question. you must have some power over them. >> i was in the restroom, getting here at the cutoff. >> good for you. >> should i retire? i heard it mentioned about the geographic representation system that itself could be improved and one idea as to a constitutional amendment to divorce the amendment from
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states so that each senator would represent 3.1 million people at the present time. the boundaries to be drawn by the federal election commission would be bipartisan so that she wouldn't have the party interference and you would no longer have wyoming and alaska, which are two senators in this population in the district of columbia. >> without getting into specifics of any of these changes, let me say i'm glad you made that point. my whole book is about reopening the question about what kind of a political system we have. we have one that doesn't work. i think it's because we've allowed political parties to dominate the elections and redistricting and the way we do things in congress. so since okay last word, let me end with this.
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the point of my book is not to be low. i've never wanted to spend my life bemoaning on how things are. so i lay out what exactly are the systems we have allowed to grow up that are having this effect on our system, dave reward instability, the punished compromise and cooperation. and so kind of like in the spirit of what you said, i'm saying that we need to turn the system upside down. but i think it will happen. i think it is starting to happen. maybe you're right things the move from west to east. the american people have had it with the kind of system that makes it impossible to govern a single united states of america. and we're going to change it. so thank you.
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>> booktv on c-span 2 and next down here at the national mall, the national book festival taking place, september 22nd and 23rd. booktv will be live both days for the 12th annual national book festival. david marinus commented david and julie nixon eisenhower, tom freeman, some of the guests be chaired at the book festival this year. join us on booktv on c-span 2. >> i have been bred in history books for 30 years am one of the things i have done throughout his every single book i try as much as possible to go to the site of the experience is that i'm writing about, especially presidential books. this is an historical monument as president lincoln lincolns
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college. it is where abraham lincoln spent about a quarter of his presidency. came here every summer. it was neglect did for a long time until 10, 15 years ago until they restored it and they're doing their best to restore it so looks the way it did at the time abraham lincoln was president. it is up the hill from the white house, which is down near the river. so as a result, it is far enough away that it was a lot cooler. the book i'm writing this about presidents have more time from james madison and the war of 1812 to george w. bush and iraq. one of the signers of this book is abraham lincoln and the civil war. the thing about lincoln is the experience of america during those years in the demand you almost might think is there anything further to be said about abraham lincoln? thoreau essays, both a cause of
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the lessons we can take away from it, his life experience and presidency and also because amazingly enough, new sources still turn up from time to time coming from a place like this if your president usually helps because sun has been a story in here trying to give the reader a sense of what the experience was that in this case abraham lincoln and the civil war. because you come here to the house where he spent so much time is president of the you can go into the room where he woke up in the morning, look outside. you can hear a lot of this sounds that are similar to what he would've heard at the time. >> this is my favorite room in the house, which is the library. for a couple reasons. one is to get the sense perhaps of what the atmosphere in this room was like when lincoln was living here and president.
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also, some learning were so much a part of lincoln's life experience and particularly the room in which he did a lot of history to be pretty important. as a war literature in the civil war, he always wanted to make sure the decisions he was making about landslides never got too abstract. that's not something we've always seen during our presidency more time. so many soldiers were dying in the early months of the civil war that they had to build a new national cemetery that was going to be in washington. they what the president, where should we put it? lincoln said essentially a one at near my summer home so i will probably be a little account an upstairs window and the men's coffins being taken on, fresh graves being dug. i come to the house and that you do you thought this would remind him of the awful toll of the
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decisions he was making that had taken the country into civil war and allowed him to execute. i think that, here gives you an enormous sense, i think of what you can write history from the normal sources, the memoirs, but if you're writing about a president and you're able to go to where he spent an awful lot of his time either growing upper wall president, just standing here almost in its history three dimensions, you'll learn certain things about abraham lincoln that she would not if you have never been here. >> here's a look at some books being published this week:
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